Speech of State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, in her capacity as the Chairperson of the Union-level Peace Dialogue Joint Committee at 19th meeting of UPDJC

We welcome and greet all the distinguished delegates who have come to attend this meeting. I extend Metta for your well-being and happiness.
From the time our Union Government was entrusted with the duty of government by the people, we have designated national reconciliation and peace as a priority and worked on this process. All of us, members of the UPDJC, have had several meetings and in order to solve our political problems, we formulated the “Framework for Political Dialogue” and have conducted different levels of political dialogues. Although the NCA (Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement) could not be amended, changed or inserted with supplements, we were able to make amendments to the Framework for Political Dialogue which came into being for the purpose of conducting political dialogues emerging out of the NCA. Based on the practical situations, we made changes to the Framework for Political Dialogue which was easy to amend and easy to change.
The first point I wish to talk about at today’s meeting is the role of the UPDJC. Our UPDJC, which has the duty to manage and guide the different levels of political dialogues, has been performing important historic tasks. Although we have the primary task of conducting political dialogues, we also had to consider the problems of ending armed conflicts that emerged together with political problems as well as national reconciliation. The success of the political dialogues which fall under the domain of the UDPJC depend on a large extent on the leaders and representatives of the various groups within the UPDJC. When you come to the political dialogues for negotiations, you need to participate in real negotiations. If people cling firmly to their own policies and beliefs without any “give and take” or compromise, the true essence of the UPDJC would be brought to nought. It is natural for representatives of different groups to have different opinions, different points of view and different aspirations. That is the reason why armed conflicts have emerged from different political beliefs leading to the perpetuation of this prolonged cycle of woe and misery.
In our efforts to find a solution to our political problems, we need to have the ability to conduct our negotiations based on patience, forbearance, and mutual trust. It is also important to understand, know and feel from the heart and share the suspicions, mistrusts and pains which have taken root as a result of long years of different political beliefs. The main point is that the delegates who are participating in political negotiations should be able to look towards the interest of the whole Union, the interests of all ethnic nationals, and the interests of future generations. In conducting negotiations, just as it is necessary to be able to have a spirit of give and take and exercise flexibility, it is also very important to have an indomitable spirit, courage and firm determination as we march towards the Democratic Federal Union.
The second point is the goal of our Union. The NLD has already confirmed that only a federal Union could ensure peace. Building a Democratic Federal Union has been a common goal for the Union. Both democratic reform and development of the federal system are the long term processes of future generations. The realistic situation for the country is that the development of the Union could be successful; only the state could build peace.
I, here, want to point out some controversies over the samples and norms of democracy, federal system and so on. The root cause of debates about the terms and meanings is the need for building trust with each other. It is seen as the need for mutual trust instead of a political issue. Doubt, mistrusts and disputes among the opponent groups over 70 years must be reduced for building trust. We need to emphasize mutual understanding among the groups in building trusts. Creating a shared understanding and building trust is more complicated than talking about them. It is essential to share other’s feelings for making understanding and building trust; only then the root cause of conflicts would be realized.
The third point is the future of the Union. There are many issues to be addressed Myanmar where armed conflicts have erupted since the country regained its independence. It is crucial to list the order of priority in solving a more extensive range of political problems. The expected Union would have standard models; however, choosing a suitable approach to shape the Union would be pragmatic and strategically correct.
The Part III of Union Accord will be signed at the 4th session of 21st Century Panglong which will lead to the emergence of the Union expected by the national people for many years together with development, national reconciliation, peace, democratic reform and federalism. The Accord could initiate a process to solve chronic political problems of the country; the Accord would become the historical document for national reconciliation, peace and building a Democratic Federal Union.
In conclusion, I would like to focus on the successful holding of 21st Century Panglong Conference, which will be held amid control and response measures against COVID-19. It is widely known that our country could control and respond to the pandemic, although the country is not a wealthy nation. This outcome was resulted from constricting control guidelines and active cooperation of people in these measures. While the status the pandemic is changing in the world, second and third waves of this viral disease show that a constant vigilance should be maintained all the times.
Reducing in percentages of representatives from each stakeholder groups and tightening healthcare measures will be carried out at the 21st Century Panglong Conference. I sincerely request the members of UPDJC, representatives for the Conference and the leaders of stakeholders to understand these situations. It is well appreciated for your full participation in these measures. I conclude my speech with my wishes to all the members of UPDJC for free of all diseases, including the pandemic, and perform the duties for building a Democratic Federal Union healthily and happily.

Thank You.

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